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Matthew J. Bunkers, Jeffrey S. Johnson, Lee J. Czepyha, Jason M. Grzywacz, Brian A. Klimowski, and Mark R. Hjelmfelt


The local and larger-scale environments of 184 long-lived supercell events (containing one or more supercells with lifetimes ≥4 h; see Part I of this paper) are investigated and subsequently compared with those from 137 moderate-lived events (average supercell lifetime 2–4 h) and 119 short-lived events (average supercell lifetime ≤2 h) to better anticipate supercell longevity in the operational setting. Consistent with many previous studies, long-lived supercells occur in environments with much stronger 0–8-km bulk wind shear than what is observed for short-lived supercells; this strong shear leads to significant storm-relative winds in the mid- to upper levels for the longest-lived supercells. Additionally, the bulk Richardson number falls into a relatively narrow range for the longest-lived supercells—ranging mostly from 5 to 45. The mesoscale to synoptic-scale environment can also predispose a supercell to be long or short lived, somewhat independent of the local environment. For example, long-lived supercells may occur when supercells travel within a broad warm sector or else in close proximity to mesoscale or larger-scale boundaries (e.g., along or near a warm front, an old outflow boundary, or a moisture/buoyancy axis), even if the deep-layer shear is suboptimal. By way of contrast, strong atmospheric forcing can result in linear convection (and thus shorter-lived supercells) in a strongly sheared environment that would otherwise favor discrete, long-lived supercells.

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L.W. Larson, R.L. Ferral, E.T. Strem, A.J. Morin, B. Armstrong, T.R. Carroll, M.D. Hudlow, L.A. Wenzel, G.L. Schaefer, and D.E. Johnson


The River and Flood Program in the National Weather Service, in its mission to save lives and property, has the responsibility to gather hydrologic data from a variety of sources and to assemble the data to make timely and reliable hydrologic forecasts. The intent of this paper, the second in a series of three, is to present an overview of the operational responsibilities of the River and Flood Program: how data are collected, what models-systems are currently in operation to process the data, and how the application of these procedures and techniques are applied in different types of hydrologic forecasting.

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